It is often seen on social platforms that fear is expressed for India becoming a Hindu nation instead of being a secular one, which it has been so far. I am amazed at such a thought process and wonder where the seed for such thoughts come from?!?!? Below is my take on this topic (won’t call it an issue as it ain’t!)
I would like to begin with observing a factual statement –
“Of all the major religions of the world namely, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism – in the order of the numbers of followers each has – Hinduism is the only religion which has no geographical homeland dedicated to it. There are Christian nations and there are Islamic nations, but there are no Hindu nations.”
Ever wondered why?
This is because Hindu as a religion is a Global one. Everyone who is born human is inherently a Hindu. I know this statement shall not go down well with many and many would want to debate it. But anyone who has a sane understanding of what the Sanatan Dharma is will but agree.
The aforementioned statement does not reason for having a Hindu state, nor was it made with the intent.
Now to the question at hand: What would happen if India became a Hindu nation instead of secular?
Let us examine the general perceptions of what the words ‘Secular’ and ‘Hindu’ mean in practical sense.
Secular – Means that the state shall not be religiously aligned in its establishment, policy, operations, execution, judgement, and conduct. Hope all will agree with this.
Hindu – Means believer in humankind, who lives in consonance with nature, respects all for what they are, as a Hindu sees a spark of the divine in all. A Hindu respects everyone’s freedom at an individual level.
Now let us see the current state of Being Secular and Being Hindu as a comparison:
- A Secular state has made provisions for personal laws based on religion. This is NOT being secular. The state ought to have a single unified code for all its citizens irrespective of religions. The UCC is being opposed majorly by the “secular” portion of the society BTW.
- Hindus believe in everyone to follow their own religion and respect the same. Have never imposed their religion on anyone, instead have accommodated all.
- A Secular state should not recognise religion and not interfere in the religious affairs. This norm of being secular is flouted when the secular government provides for the HAJ subsidy given out of the tax payer’s money, majority of whom are Hindus just because they are a majority. I see this akin to jaziya tax collected from Hindu pilgrims, just that now Hindus don’t pay for their pilgrimages, but indirectly are paying for the minority’s.
- Hindus on the other hand not only have to fund their own pilgrimages, but their majority of temples and its earnings are managed and governed by the said secular government. While conspicuously the secular government cannot have even an auditory glimpse into the accounts of the Islamic WAQF boards or Christian Dioceses and Missionaries.
- A Secular state should not appease any religion. But we do see state sponsored Iftar parties don’t we? How is secularism being upheld then.
- Hindus on the other hand not only welcome celebration of other religious festivals, but also help and participate in the same with equal enthusiasm. This is also true for people of other faiths who celebrate Hindu festivals with their Hindu friends.
- A secular state should should strive for equality for all its citizens. But the secular state is seen promoting and supporting religion and caste based equality. While many Hindu traditions have been amended and modified for the general good, the secular state has failed to do so with other religions (TTT, girl education, madarasa brainwashing) in the name of secularism!
- Hindus have been open to reforms and have been adaptive in their approach. They have been progressive and forward thinking. While other major religions are paranoid about their belief systems, let alone even discuss or debate reforms within their religions.
- A secular state should respect all religions and should lead the society in doing so. In all practicality certain religions are pampered while others are overruled. In state run airports and public places there are special arrangements for “prayer rooms” for our Muslim minorities. This is true in MNCs too.
- Hindu have never demanded any such privileges from the state. Not because Hindus would not like to have them, but because their religion forbids them to cause inconvenience to others, and urges them to modify themselves so as not to be a cause of any discomfort to others.
The above stated are just some glaringly obvious things which are taken for granted in the name of secularism. But no one ever stops to think that being a Hindu is actually being secular when it comes to laws, policies, and governance.
In Conclusion –
True Secularism is in the DNA of INDIANS only because of its Hindu past. Hindu Samskars in the Indian blood stream is strong even after countless forceful conversions, hence India has been a living example of a secular state aeons before the word ‘secular’ even became a part of the constitution in 1977, almost 30 years after its independence, which was forced upon its psyche and the meaning of which has been systematically abused to marginalise the Hindus.
The minorities religions have been pampered in the name of being secular by the state and hence they fear that should India become a Hindu nation, they may lose this pampering as true secularism does not have any room for appeasement, let alone sanctions for furthering their religious causes.
Muslims and Christians just ASSUME that a Hindu state cannot be secular.
Does this fear then arise from the fact that the Muslims and Christians know what the status of other religions is in Islamic and Christian religious states, how the other religions are systematically strangled and confined. Are they superimposing this fear of a similar treatment even in hypothesis?
There is no religion more secular in its fabric, teachings and followers than the Sanatan Dharma which Hindus belong to.
Indians were never in favour of division of the landmass based on religious grounds. Indians have always believed in peaceful coexistence. Hindus too have always believed in the same principles and have more than demonstrated it through their history and continue to do so. While other religions in the name of secularism are damaging the fabric of India by going against the very grain of secularism indulging in forceful conversion either through coercion or lure or in the name of charity and service.
I firmly believe that those who are at fault are the ones to make the most noise on such subjects lest their facade would fall and their true intents revealed.